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Topic: New clarinet sonata

  1. #1

    New clarinet sonata (additional movement)

    These are the opening five movements of my new Sonata, opus 35, for clarinet and piano.

    It's actually in one continuous movement, but nominally divided into 3 "parts", and each part itself divided in two.

    The opening section is the traditional sonata allegro, with two themes - one rhapsodic and rythmic, the other slower and lyrical.

    Immediately follows the Scherzo, mostly built on the first theme. The Scherzo defines its material by register - the scherzo proper has mostly low register aggressive piano writing, while the Trio section migrates into the upper register of the piano. The clarinet, meanwhile, scampers all over its range, extreme low to extreme high.

    Part II starts with a Nocturne, impressionist, lyrical, built on fragments from the main theme of the sonata.

    Immediately follows the "Tiento", a fantasia that is part-march part-fuga.

    Part III starts with the Adagio "Arioso", a sad, slow movement, which gives a bit of a break to the clarinetist by giving a large portion of the material to the piano. The form is very simple, with two contrasting episodes, mostly based on the second theme of the sonata.

    The sixth movement finale is a sort of Rondo that recaps the material of the entire sonata.

    Without further ado, Sonata for clarinet and piano, opus 35, which will be seeing its première in concert next autumn.




    And the performance uses the beautiful solo clarinet from full GPO and the beautiful GPO Steinway piano. Performance is by Finale 2006, with Robert P's wonderful HumanPlayback plugin.

  2. #2

    Re: New clarinet sonata

    I have not yet heard your Sonata 2, but I want to congratulate you on the wonderful recording.
    Proper use of cc64 with the Clarinet, and a very sensible use of dynamics.

    Nice reverb, nice everything Michel!

  3. #3

    Re: New clarinet sonata

    I really can't take credit for any use of controllers... all I did was write the score. Robert P's HumanPlayback plugin did the rest. Pretty much the only thing I did was choose just how much reverb I wanted from the Garritan Ambience plugin in Finale 2006.

    What you are hearing is the score exactly as the musicians will be getting it for the performance, played back by Finale.

    With one MINOR cheat - I have a few invisible dynamics (a p and pp which are invisible), articulations (an accent) and tempo changes (well, I won't list them all here, but I use them sparingly) which do not print in the score.

    The rest is the performance score with slurs, articulations, tempo markings, dynamics, etc...

  4. #4

    Re: New clarinet sonata

    this is recorded unbelievably well. it is totally convincing. this type of "less tonal/structured" music isn't something that i usually enjoy, but i can honestly say that this was a pleasure to listen to. you did a great job of making the clarient lines somewhat lyrical at times to keep the listeners interest. the piano went well with this also - it was never overpowering but at the same time it was always noticable. i see you're from montreal, so you probably haven't heard this, but in the second file i heard a quote from NPR's "All Things Considered" show. anyway, cool piece and incredible well recorded.
    -Keith Fuller

    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  5. #5

    Re: New clarinet sonata

    I'm afraid I don't know what NPR is, nor "All Things Considered".

    Thank-you for the comments. I'm glad the music pleased you. I've always been a little torn between being more "modern" (ie: atonal) and writing what I REALLY want to write - more tonal music.

    I think the most difficult thing for me in this particular piece was stearing clear of sounding too "Hindemith-ian"! It's a constant danger when one plays with quartal harmony.

    As for the piano part, I'm very happy you enjoyed it. As a pianist, surprisingly, I find it exceedingly difficult to write for the piano! I'm too finicky and self-critical. It's always either too easy, or too hard, or "not pianistic enough". I'm actually considerably more comfortable writing for orchestra. I'm considering orchestrating this sonata and turning it into a concerto at some point. Which of course will only make it that much more difficult to get performed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: New clarinet sonata


    Great composition and recording,
    Worthy of staying on page one here for some time.



  7. #7

    Re: New clarinet sonata

    I will listen to this as soon as I get home. I just wanted to chime in (to make sure it is still on page 1 when I get home for one thing... lol) and join your praise for Robert P's Human Playback. I imagine your score is well laid out... and I don't even have to see it. I find that, much like performers, Human Playback will play what is on the page. If you give it a well notated score it will give a good performance.

    I will comment on your piece soon as I can tear myself away from the second volume of Schillinger for my comprehensive exams... sigh... I miss composing.

    Possible to see a snippet of the score?
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  8. #8

    Re: New clarinet sonata

    Excellent writing. I enjoyed your work very much. Thanks for posting.


    Larry G. Alexander

  9. #9

    Re: New clarinet sonata

    Great piece. Look forward to the other movements.

    As a clarinetist, I am really impressed with the writing.



  10. #10

    Re: New clarinet sonata

    thank-you all for your comments.

    I'm glad the sonata can impress a clarinetist!

    As one of my teachers once told me (and I paraphrase... it's been a while):

    "Write for violin what violin can play; do not write a trombone part for the bassoon; if instrumental part can be played by any instrument, then it is not worth playing!"

    (you have to imagine the whole thing with a heavy Russian accent)

    He made a very interesting point, however. The gist of it was that when writing for any instrument or group of instruments, one should always strive to make that music as idiomatic as possible. Even when it might seem to be an insignificant internal line that carries no apparent melodic weight.

    This is where Professor Belkin's "Common Problems in Orchestration" can REALLY help.

    BTW, is there any section in particular you'd like to see of the score, Jess? I don't know how easily I can post am image taken from the score on this forum, but I can try.

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